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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Best of Roald Dahl

Book #44 on my reading list this year was The Best of Roald Dahl.

First off, yes this is the same Dahl of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach fame (and no his young YA stories are not included here). Turns out when Dahl wasn't churning out children's classics he was using that same delightfully twisted mind to write sinister short stories for adults. Yeah!

Clocking in at 520 pages, this 'Best of' collection could probably have used a heavier editing hand. Many of Dahl's earlier stories suffer from the 'ironic twist ending that you know is coming and thus is no longer really a twist' problem. With the stories arranged chronologically here I was got close to giving up early on, but was really glad I stuck it out as the later stories turned out to be superb. I'd recommend seeking out a better collection but the stories are definitely worth reading especially if you were a Dahl fan growing up.

Fun fact: "Man From the South" was adapted into Quentin Tarantino's piece in Four Rooms. How cool is that?

Dahl on Wikipedia
Official site

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The Ten

Film #55 for me this year was The Ten.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars (when you average it all out)
Jamie says: Ten stories ranging from cringe-worthy bad (especially the first half hour) to bust a gut hilarious all in 90 minutes. Ah, sketch comedy.
RIYL: The State, absurdist comedy, cameos

Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Role Models

Film #54 for me this year was Role Models.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: What seems like a pretty stupid setup (cuz it is) actually turns out to be funny and enjoyable. Why can't all sucky movies be this good?
RIYL: Wet Hot American Summer, Knocked Up, McLovin, Big Daddy

Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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RocknRolla

Film #53 for me this year was RocknRolla.

My NetFlix rating: 3.5 stars
Jamie says: Gangsta gangsta. It's no Lock Stock but it's alright with me. Bonus points for co-starring The Wire's Idris Elba (offsetting the negative points for Ludacris).
RIYL: Lock Stock, Snatch, Get Shorty

Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Monster Camp

Film #52 for me this year was Monster Camp.

My NetFlix rating: 3 stars
Jamie says: Documentary? Check. Set in Seattle? Check. People acting out DnD-style role playing games in real life (LARPing)? Check mate.
RIYL: World of Warcraft, J.R.R. Tolkein

Official site
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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